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652 TALKS ON t( AT THE FEET OF THE MASTER "
so that ^it becomes, as it is safid here, a superstition.
If^ then it be true that we have to take vegetable life,
in order that we may live, then yo^ see we are
taking life at very low stage of evolution, and after
all we must live somehow, But it is quite to be
argued that we are not taking any life which would
otherwise have to find room on earth. That is the
answer to the objection I think, when it is made.
Of course, you can also say—though that would
be equally applicable to the eating of meat—that if
vegetable life is destroyed, it is turned into and made
part of a higher life.
We have to use our common-sense about killing.
There are many cases where small forms of life, for
example, render our lives practically impossible. You
have the theory of non-destruction of life carried to
the utmost m certain places, as, for example, where
some decline to kill vermin, and allow themselves to
be eaten by them. Well, that does not commend
itself to any civilised ^person. You, who have a
library of books, will sometimes find your books
attacked by silverfish and so on. -It se^ms to me
that you must destroy that kind of life. If you
could drive them away it would be better; but it
is better certainly that you should destroy such
insects, than that you should allow good books, which
might be of use to others besides yourself, to be
rendered useless. I think we should use common-
sense in all these matters, all the way through.